In the face of illegal logging and other malpractices that are costing Mozambique incalculable sums, the country has launched a program to improve forestry management.
Under a program run by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the World Bank has committed over $5 million to help Mozambique improve its inspection capacity
The National Forestry Inventory of 2018 indicated that 267,000 hectares of forest were lost every year in the period between 2003 and 2013. This meant that, on average, the country was losing 0.76 per cent of its forest cover every year. Nonetheless, there are still 34 million hectares of native forest in Mozambique, covering 43 per cent of the country.
Faced with the reality of deforestation and forest degradation, representing a high cost for local communities and the national economy, regional training for forest wardens has begun in the northern city of Nampula. The training will take place in three northern provinces (Cabo Delgado, Niassa and Nampula) to provide forest wardens and associated staff with the skills to identify tree species.
Alima Taquidir, from the Ministry of Land and Environment, said that through improving forestry management, the country could benefit from the enormous potential it possesses. “Our goal is to improve the monitoring of tree species throughout the country”, said Taquidir. “We need to do this because one tree trunk that has been logged can easily be confused with another. If our staff and wardens were better trained, they could correctly identify all the species that pass through the monitoring posts”.